Updates from TUI Travel, Greene King and Betfair

Adrian Holliday
savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100, Betfair, Sage Group, BT
savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100, Betfair, Sage Group, BT

BT Group and Reed Elsevier both helped take the shine of the FTSE 100 yesterday. BT fell more than 2.3% while Reed fell almost 2%, helping drag the FTSE 25 points down to 6,716.6. On the positive side, Sage Group impressed investors, climbing almost 5% to 422.10p on the back of new earnings news, while insurer Admiral Group surged 2.8% to 1284p.

Stateside, the Dow Jones continued to push north, up 33 points to 17,912.6 helped by better employment news. So far for the week the Dow is up nearly 85 points.

We begin this morning with TUI Travel. For the year to 30 September, the travel operator says underlying revenues came in at £14,619m compared to £15,051m this time last year, a 3% drop. However profits surged 4% to £612m compared to £589m.

The Nordics suffered from a challenging first-half performance but results have since stabilised says TUI. However the trading environment in Russia and Ukraine continues to be challenging due to the geopolitical issues.

"The merger with TUI AG," says boss Peter Long, "will strengthen and future-proof our combined Group. It will also enhance the certainty of long-term unique holiday growth and reinforce our clear competitive advantage through further control over the end-to-end customer experience."

Next, Greene King numbers for the last quarter to 19 October. Total revenues climb 3.3% to £595.4m though operating profits come under pressure, down 3.1% to £127.2m. Adjusted earnings per share slides -1.6% to 30.4p.

The pub operator says retail like-for-like sales growth pushed 0.8% higher while Pub Partners like-for-like net income is up 3.7%. Brewing & Brands own-brewed volumes rise 5.9%.

"With real incomes struggling to grow," says Greene King, "customers remain cautious about spending on eating and drinking out. As a result, we will continue to tailor our customer-focused strategy to ensure we deliver another year of progress, long-term growth and strong returns to our shareholders."

Lastly, Betfair. The bookie says revenues for the last six months climbed 26% but pre-tax profit surge 112% to £67.3m. Mobile revenue more than doubled and now represents 70% of Sportsbook revenue; US revenues climb 17%.

Gaming revenues are up 44% following a 63% increase in the number of Sports customers using Gaming products for the first time claims Betfair. Overall, it anticipates full year EBITDA of between £97m and £103m.

"Our focus," says boss Breon Corcoran, "on regulated jurisdictions is also paying off. Revenues from sustainable markets grew by 32% in the first half of the year and now contribute more than 80% of total revenues."

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